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Is it important to have connections and know how to network?

Hello! I'm a junior in High school and recently a guess speaker has come to our classroom to talk to us about the future careers and what's important. They spoke of networking a few times so I'd like to know just how much networking and connections would be to me. #networking #future-careers

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Vicky,


Most potential employers will search for you on social media sites so it is usually a good idea to have a presence on LinkedIn or other appropriate professional online forums. Create a profile and make sure it includes your most recent accomplishments. Also, take advantage of LinkedIn Groups. Industry or alumni associations and groups are good places to make connections and uncover leads and jobs. Responding to a position posted by a group is often more effective than applying for the same position on a job board.


Take care what you post on other social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. Check out what potential employers and business contacts might discover about you.
Next, make a list of contacts with whom you would be comfortable discussing your career options. They can be relatives, friends, social contacts, former work colleagues, bosses, subordinates, customers or suppliers, contacts met at conferences and seminars, thought leaders you know, etc. This will form the basis of your professional network.


Professional networking is about ‘giving to get’ and involves:



  • Sharing your knowledge and influence to help others

  • Uncovering unadvertised job opportunities.

  • Obtaining referrals

  • Gaining interview practice

  • Learning more about a position, organisation and industry

  • Making new contacts


Now it 's time to seek informational interviews to help you learn more in a general sense. Politely approach your contacts, starting with those connected in some way to a company, job or industry that appeals to you. If they are willing to have a conversation, agree upon a timeframe, and respect it. After each conversation, verbally thank your contact for their time, and follow up with a written note. Also, ask if they know anyone else you should talk to, and see if they would be willing to phone or email ahead, introducing you. This will help you expand your professional network.


Additional Networking Skills:



  • Always keep your CV up-to-date and ready to send on at a moment’s notice.

  • Prepare and practice a 10-second ‘elevator speech’ that succinctly describes who you are and what you are seeking.

  • Do research about companies of interest and try to unearth the names of hiring managers to approach based on a recommendation from your network.

  • Build relationships steadily over time; developing a professional network requires daily attention, and does not happen overnight.


In: http://uk.hudson.com/networking-skills


Best!

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Marie’s Answer

Hi Vicky,


Networking is very important, it is key and one of the most effective ways people get hired!


Networking comes in many forms. You did receive a very detailed and relevant response from Daniela regarding LinkedIn and included great recommendations. If it seems a bit overwhelming, which it can for all of us until we get the hang of it, start by keeping in touch with people that you have interacted; teachers, coaches, people you work on projects or do volunteer work with.


People are more apt to help out if you a common factor. Keeping in touch in the beginning can be as simple as reaching out to see how someone is doing, reviewing how much fun and what you accomplished working together, sending them info. (article, music, something that interest them) and let them know that you thought of them when you saw it. As you gain more experience these contacts will too. Your network will grow and so will theirs.


The more people you know that align with your interest and you keep in contact with, the stronger your network will get, so that eventually if you need an introduction to someone you may not know, someone in your network will be willing to introduce you.


I recommend you reference this great article: http://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/need-a-job-5-ways-to-get-a-new-job-fast.html/?a=viewall

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Carrie’s Answer

Networking and connections is incredibly important. It's probably been the most important part of my career. The fact that you are asking this so early is impressive, so Kudos to you. I'd just start by making a list of who can teach you or influence you in whatever field you are looking at. Pen to paper, nothing crazy. Just think of it as a brainstorming list. Then I'd think about if you or your friends/family know anyone or have connections to anyone on that list. Ask for an introduction. I'm 40 years old and I'm always asking for introductions. It works! Also when you get into college, I'd make yourself a regular at the Career Center or with your Advisor if you have one. If they know what you want, they can help guide you and by the time you're ready for an internship you will be more prepared!
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Amy’s Answer

I personally believe it is the most important thing a person can do. It may not be ideal, but it's a fact, it is who you know more than what you know.
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